"Laila and Majnun in School", Folio 129 from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami of Ganja

Various artists/makers

Not on view

One of the best-known stories of Nizami’s Khamsa (Quintet) is that of Laila and Majnun, a tale akin to that of the star-crossed lovers Romeo and Juliet. This folio illustrates their meeting at the madrasa (school) where they fall in love at first sight. In addition to the young lovers, this highly detailed painting depicts activities typical of the sixteenthcentury schoolyard—with children burnishing paper, practicing their penmanship, and reading various types of books. Although the story takes place in Arabia, the architectural setting is quintessentially Persian.

"Laila and Majnun in School", Folio 129 from a Khamsa (Quintet) of Nizami of Ganja, Nizami (present-day Azerbaijan, Ganja 1141–1209 Ganja), Ink, opaque watercolor, and gold on paper

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folio 129 recto